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Putin’s new military doctrine aimed at domestic audience?

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 28.12.2014 12:53
Leading Polish politicians have commented on the amended Russian military doctrine officially announced by president Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) enter a hall to attend a Cabinet meeting at the Government House in Moscow, Russia, 25.12.2014. Photo: PAP/EPA/ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/RIA NOVOSTI/KREMLIN POOL

The document points to NATO and its alleged expansion as an immediate external threat posed to Russian security and interests.

Speaking on Polish Radio, Professor Tomasz Nalecz, head of the Presidential Chancellery, said that the Russian head of state “seems to be counting on boosting his popularity ratings among compatriots through creating an atmosphere of external threat and heightened war oriented emotions”.

Andrzej Halicki, representing the Civic Platform (PO) – the senior ruling coalition partner – observed that due to an internal crisis “Russia has intensified rhetoric aimed at rebuilding its imperial status”.

Halicki added that “Russia is already suffering from an economic crisis but has, so far, managed to avoid a political one” thanks to diverting public attention to external factors through sharp rhetoric targeting other countries. Halicki described such actions as a dangerous policy.

Mariusz Blaszczak from the major opposition Law and Justice (PiS) pointed to western sanctions as an effective tool in dealing with this type of Russian policy.

Blaszczak also referred to dropping oil prices on international markets as another instrument of exerting pressure on Russia. Current prices went down to the level of USD 60 per barrel, while binding Russian budget estimates were based on USD 103 per barrel. This miscalculation has created a serious gap in projected Russian GDP which is heavily dependent on exports of energy resources.

In turn, Jaroslaw Kalinowski from the junior government coalition partner, the Polish Peasants Party (PSL), remarked that though western sanctions have visibly impacted Russia’s economy, the “Russian people have shown a high degree of endurance to the deteriorating situation”.

“This does not lead to optimistic conclusions, so the Kremlin must be given time for reflection and finding a political solution”, Kalinowski summed up. (ss/jb)

tags: Putin
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